School age children are often seen in the hospitals, thereby spending valuable school hours waiting to be seen in the congested outpatient department for minor ailments or injuries which could have been taken care of adequately if there were functional school health clinics. The aim of the study was to evaluate reasons for absenteeism amongst school pupils during school health clinic interventional period in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out to assess school health services in 36 government approved primary (12 public and 24 private) schools within Owerri Municipal LGA. Relevant data was obtained from school head teachers using an evaluation scale and direct observation was done where applicable. The responses were scored using the School Health Programme evaluation scale. Thereafter, a prospective (pre-test–post-test) study was carried out in two public primary schools between May to December 2017 (two academic terms). Within the period (September to December 2017) an intervention was carried out which involved the running of school clinics in two selected public primary schools. School attendances were kept during the pre-intervention and intervention periods using a check off list for monitoring daily attendances and reasons for absenteeism. Absenteeism due to Illness was significantly lower after the introduction of clinic (16.9%) than in the pre intervention period (26.5%). The mean number of days pupils were absent due to other reasons like home chores and care of younger siblings were higher than mean days absent due to illness both in the pre intervention and intervention period.
Keywords: Reasons, absenteeism, school pupils, health clinic and interventional period.
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Ahumaraeze C. B. and Akani N. A. (2023).Reasons for absenteeism amongst school pupils during school health clinic interventional period in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. IAA Journal of Biological Sciences 10(1):78-86.